By Matt “Rabit’ Martinez
Heading out on a North American tour, The Birthday Massacre is joined by fellow Canadian rockers Sumo Cyco and Italy’s own Army of the Universe to entice the crowds on their Under Your Spell Tour. Not willing to pass through California without leaving their mark, they played to three packed houses in San Francisco, Hollywood, and Pomona respectfully. I was lucky enough to catch their shows in Hollywood, playing at the world famous Roxy Theatre and in Pomona at the Glass House. The fans could not be ready for the bands they were about to experience as the Birthday Massacre chose two up and coming bands to perfectly compliment the aesthetic of their tour.
Kicking off the start to the night was Canadian punk rockers Sumo Cyco. This was only the band’s second time playing in California but with their sound and stage presence they could be playing the Sunset Strip every night and fit right in. Opening their set with a song off their newest album Opus Mar, they woke the audience up with “Sleep Tight.” Hitting the stage hard and drawing everyone’s attention was lead singer Skye “Sever” Sweetnam. With her vibrant blue hair and matching eye make-up, no one in the crowd could take their eyes off of this beauty.
Rocking the stage with a classic Gibson SG guitar was other founding member Matt “MD” Drake, getting the crowd’s blood pumped up with riffs akin to Angus Young. Drumming like his life depended on it, Matt Trozzi kept the audience jumping in the crowd with strong bass hits and crashing cymbals. Rounding off the group, and filling in on bass for this tour, was Oscar Anesetti whom could be seen flying around the stage and throwing his guitar in every direction while never losing his place among the tunes. Knowing that they needed to make a statement to captivate the audience, Skye would continually leap off stage into the crowd and personally get her spectators jumping around the building. Finishing off their set strong with “Fighter”, Skye surprisingly leaped onto the back of Matt Drake while they both ran around the crowd. Even though Sumo Cyco was the opening act, they left their mark in California and in the minds of the crowd creating new fans out of everyone who came out.
Full Sumo Cyco Slideshow Below:
Hot off of a European tour, and with little down time, Italian industrial band Army of the Universe brought their own unique sound to the West Coast. Playing songs mostly off of their latest album 1999 & The Aftershow, the boys from Italy brought a more upbeat sound to the stage. Opening their set with “Another Escape,” it was as if the band was taking us on a journey with their music. Lead Singer Lord K danced around the stage singing lyrics that had such catchy choruses that you would be able to sing along with them by the second verse. Looking like a heavy metal guitarist but keeping the guitar licks in sync with the Electronica style of the band was Dave Tavecchia. Keyboardist Trebla kept the bass drops heavy and the grooves coming on the synth. To not be stuck in one place, he would switch over to a Key-tar so that he could move around the stage and play opposite Tavecchia. Not one to be outdone, Lord K also decided to jump up to the barricade while performing “The Aftershow,” leaning the mic over to fan after fan allowing them to sing the chorus of this catchy tune. With some of the catchiest choruses of the night, Army of the Universe finished their set leaving every member of the audience looking to learn one more song that they can sing their hearts out to.
Complete Army Of The Universe Slideshow Below:
One more intermission to go and the band that this crowd has been waiting for was set to hit the stage. As more people tried to fill the venue, the fog started to roll in, chants for the band and its members rang out, the lights went dark, and a roar cried out from the crowd. The Birthday Massacre had arrived and standing in the center of the stage was lead singer Chibi. One would not expect it from her, but she has the ability to switch between a lovable melodic singer dancing across the stage, to a gritty rock star growling the lyrics with a ferocious energy. Chibi is an artist that loves her fans and she shows it as she waves to every person she can see while making hearts with her hands to send her love to everyone in the room. Trading off guitar melodies and creating beautiful harmonies were guitarists Rainbow and M. Falcore. Both members moved across the stage differently as Rainbow jumped and pounced around plucking away at his guitar.
Meanwhile, M. Falcore found his groove and took the audience on a journey into the melodies of his chords. Channeling the presence of John Entwistle was bassist Nate Manor. Rocking a pair of cool kid sunglasses, he kept to his spot on stage finger picking away on his Gibson bass. The band was touring their new album Under Your Spell as they debuted a few songs from the album which comes out on June 9th. The new songs fit right in with the band’s fairytale gothic sound and they weaved them throughout the 17 song-set perfectly. Birthday Massacre even came back out for a three-song encore that included a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells song “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
Complete The Birthday Massacre Slideshow Below:
Whether it was one of the first times these bands had played in California or if it was a welcomed return, all three bands definitely left their mark on the audience and the venues. It was a perfect combination of different styles that each band brought to the stage. Many fans may have only come to see the Birthday Massacre, but Sumo Cyco and Army of the Universe brought a great surprise to the tour creating new fans of everyone in attendance and leaving each person only guessing when they will be able to see these bands live again.